How Using A Pre-Made Template Differs From Website Design

By: Auxilia | Date: November 2, 2018

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The Trend

There is a trend among those that work within website design in the world of WordPress. That trend is to call yourself a “web designer “or “web developer”, or a “web design agency” but then deal in the realm of pre-made templates. There are several places where pre-made templates can be purchased, such as Envato, Theme Forest, TemplateMonster, and others. The “web designer” can purchase that theme (or rather a license to use that theme’s bells and whistles) for a specified time at which time it either needs to have a new license purchased or you use it until it breaks. The latter is very common with TemplateMonster’s themes. Once the license expires, mysteriously the plugins stop working and site functionality breaks. (In fact, Auxilia just re-coded a site like this that was using a TemplateMonster theme. The license expired and things broke so bad that the only choice was to rebuild the site using actual code). The theme will usually have a swarm of plugins that add functionality to the website such as a contact form plugin, shopping cart, employee/staff widget, gallery/project widget, and so on. Supposedly anyone can create a beautiful looking site which is responsive…supposedly.

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But the question has to be asked, is this website design??? Let me handle this from at least two perspectives, but I may ramble onto more.

Auxilia’s Reply

First, I would argue that customers are not knowingly paying for a pre-made, cookie-cutter, drag-and-drop site. No client says, “Hey, I want a website that looks like everyone else’s. One with no unique flare. A site that lacks originality. No customization. That is what I want representing my company!” Of course, they wouldn’t say that! Yet there are many “web design agencies” in Orlando. And there are many who call themselves “web designers” who are doing this very thing! Clients usually want their company’s represented with the very things mentioned above. Whether they say they want a budget site or not, no one wants a cookie cutter. There is something within all of us that begs for the hand-made touch, even if it is a budget site. So using a pre-made template from the store is not what a client typically perceives as web design.

Website Design Orlando 3Secondly, anyone that knows how to build websites from scratch understands that it takes years of practice and training in website design to build a site that loads fast, scales correctly, has minified files, high-quality images, originality, and the list goes on. Not to mention, there are many times that a client wishes to add to the site in the future which is difficult to do using a pre-made template. And let me interject that the reason it is usually difficult is due to the way in which template factories structure their code. They are building it to give the drag-and-drop functionality so modifying it for even the slightest customization can many times break parts of the site. Also, if you ever update the theme, many times those changes are written over and thus lost.

There is more I have to say about this

So this blog article will need to be continued. There is more to say about it, and like our series on What Goes Into SEO Lead Generation, this will most likely be a series as I wish to set the record straight. There are many within the web development field that rightly acknowledges this break down in calling one’s self a web designer or web developer without actually coding and developing anything! So like the Terminator, I will be back to address this topic further.